Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I Now Understand Child Leashes, and Ritalin, and Cages, and…

There was a day when my childless self would be casually strolling through the mall and would come across a woman who was being dragged around mercilessly by the child that she was tethered to via a child harness, and I would think, “That poor kid. How could that mother put her child on a leash? I will never put my child on a leash.” If I saw that same woman today I would most likely stop her and say, “So, um, where did you get that leash and does it come in purple?” My kids are maniacs and they are the reason that I am currently pounding a serious amount of medicinal chocolate and peanut butter.

OK, so they aren’t exactly maniacs, but they have this reserve of boundless energy that is always bubbling away just below the surface waiting to explode and I am the one responsible for keeping it all in check. Their personalities are staggeringly independent, and they have a will that couldn’t be bent by a nuclear bomb.

I see other children calmly walking down the street hand-in-hand with their mothers and it appears to be a picture of perfect serenity. My kids are typically hauling ass ten feet in front of me racing each other for bragging rights and the title of The One Who Made Mommy Lose Her Mind. There’s a trophy and everything. Elyse absolutely refuses to hold my hand when we are taking Aaron to school and she stubbornly grabs her own hand and repeats, “My hand Mommy. My hand Mommy.”

Today, I was feeling guilty for not taking Elyse to more story times and other various extracurricular activities like I did with Aaron when he was her age. So at the last minute, I decided that she and I would go to our local story time after we dropped Aaron off at school. Just like Aaron, she refused to sit and listen to the story because there was apparently something half way across the library that required her immediate attention, and I spent half of the story time chasing her down. Everyone else…EVERYONE else, sat and calmly listened. Not her. I will admit that she did come around for the songs and she was really into the craft at the end, but she could not force herself to sit still for five minutes to hear the story.

Then, she and I went to get Aaron at the end of the day and when we got there, the lobby was overflowing with parents. I guess there was some kindergarten program this afternoon and these parents were waiting to pick up their kids. Typically there are only about five other parents in that lobby when I go to get Aaron. So it was mayhem and all I wanted Elyse to do was sit in the chair next to me while things cleared out, but she was having none of it. She eventually threw herself to the ground and I walked out in shame as the woman who couldn’t control her toddler.

When I am with them I feel the need to go up to everyone in observance and explain, “You know, I wasn’t always this scattered. Really, I have it under control. Really... I swear…REALLY.! Oh who am I kidding? I don’t even believe that load of crap.”

My mother has told me that my two sisters and I all together were nothing in comparison to my kids individually. Mike’s mom has revealed that even his brother who followed a dog away from the house and down the road as a child was no match for my children. Mike and I are not rambunctious people. We are really very quiet, reserved individuals. Where did these kids come from? I say they were switched at the hospital after they were born, but Mike thinks that the chance of that happening twice to the same couple is highly unlikely.

I comfort myself by rationalizing that their challenging, boisterous personalities are a side effect of their absolute brilliance. I believe without a doubt that they are destined for greatness and are going to achieve important, fantastic things. And when that day comes, I will be exploding with a sense of accomplishment myself as I will know that I got them to that moment and didn’t strangle the crap out of them somewhere along the way.

Serenity now!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How a Note From School Ripped My Heart Out and Made Me Cry

Sunday night I was cleaning out Aaron’s backpack for back-to-school Monday and double checking that there wasn’t something that I was supposed to do over the weekend that I didn’t know about because, you know, once I get him home on Thursday I toss the backpack and forget about school for the weekend, when I came across a letter letting us know that preschool graduation is quickly approaching… and then I started to cry. Graduation! I can barely type the word without welling up. OK, I’m lying, I am all teary and fighting to keep myself together.

After I found the note, I went upstairs to tell Mike about it and he said, “Do you think they will wear a cap and gown?” I was like, “What are you trying to do to me? Are you trying to make me cry? Do you want to see me cry? Stop! I can’t handle it!” Then I went to cry some more.

I know that this isn’t as significant as high school graduation and I know that we have a long way to go in the whole school journey, but my little guy is graduating from preschool! If you remember how things started for us this fall then you know what a gigantic milestone this is and how far Aaron has come in the last eight months.

Back in September, when we were heavy into the agony of dragging Aaron to school which he loathed more than the dentist or the threat of cancelling Christmas, I never thought that we would get to this point. I was sure that every single day was going to be a fight and that my little guy was destined to despise school and everything that it stands for, but day by day, and week by week things got a little better. Now, he loves it. He has just this week started staying all day every day and can you believe that when we were talking about school yesterday he actually said that he likes the naps because school is so busy.

…Excuse me while I pick my chin up off of the ground…

HE LIKES THE NAP!?!? What? Are you freakin kidding me? That is what the drama of the last eight months has been all about; the fact that his teacher had the audacity to require him to lie down on a cozy little mat, cover up with a warm fuzzy blanket, and rest for a set period of time. That bitch! And now…he likes it. I will never understand that kid. Ever!

So yeah, anyway, graduation is exactly six weeks from tomorrow. If you happen to see me in the next six weeks please don’t mention graduation…or caps…or gowns. Well, you can, if you want to see me cry, but, that would just be mean.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Crib-The Everest of the Baby World

Ok, so I haven't posted anything in like, well, a really long time, but to be honest there just isn't a whole lot going on right now except...

Elyse may be ready to move into her toddler bed. Why God, why? I’m not ready to have that crazy girl on the loose in her room for eight to ten hours at a time. The destruction…Sweet mother of God, the destruction that could occur boggles the mind. Why do I think she is ready? Well, about two weeks ago I went into her room in the morning to get the day started and I found her sitting on the bar of her crib like it was Sea Biscuit. Giddy up! One leg on one side of the bar, the other leg on the other side of the bar and, she was holding on to the back of the crib like she was holding onto the reins. To say that I was shocked would be the understatement of the decade.

Then, oh I don’t know, about a week later she was “playing” in her room and Aaron went in to check on her. When he came out he was like, “Mom, you aren’t going to believe what she is doing. She got in her bed.” Now initially I wasn’t alarmed because she has a toy baby crib that she climbs into ALL of the time and I figured that was what he was talking about. But when I walked into her room, the first thing that I saw was Elyse, sitting as proud as a peacock in HER crib, pacifier in her mouth, and a gigantic grin spread clear across her face. She scaled her own bed... The bed in which she sleeps... Like it was nothing more than stepping up on the sidewalk. If this child doesn’t make me nuts by the time she reaches five years old it will be an absolute miracle.

When we moved Aaron to a toddler bed, he was about eighteen months old; that’s four months YOUNGER than Elyse is now. We moved him because at the time I was pregnant with the baby that we lost before Elyse and we wanted to transition him into his big boy bed before the baby came so he didn’t feel like he was being replaced. He rolled out of bed one time. Once! He never, ever got out of his bed for anything. In the mornings when he was awake, he would sit in his bed and wait for us to come in and get him before he would set one foot on the floor.

Something tells me that Elyse is not going to be that easy. For starters, she sleeps like a maniac. I never know exactly where I am going to find her when I go in to check on her. Second, unless she is strapped to the bed, I can’t see her for one second patiently waiting for us to get her in the mornings. I was telling Mike that she will be the kind of kid that wanders out of her bed at two o’clock in the morning and will come and stand next to my bed waiting for me to wake up and when I do wake up and see a tiny figure stationed next to my bed I will in all likelihood completely wig out, scream bloody murder, and die on the spot. NO ONE stands next to my bed in the middle of the night for ANYTHING. That crap freaks me out and just thinking about it now is giving me the heebee jeebees.


That’s all I’ve got for now. I think I am going to spend some time on Google trying to find a lid for her crib. They sell those kinds of things, right?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Gospel According To Jack...

I have known my friend Sara since our freshman year of college. She and I were roommates for the two years that I was there and I could not have been blessed with a more perfect person to share those two years. Several years later, she and I had baby boys about six weeks apart from each other and it seems that our sons are very much alike. After reading this email from Sara, I can only imagine the things that Jack and Aaron could come up with together. I asked her if I could share with you this email that she wrote retelling her tale of an incident that occurred following Easter service this past Sunday because it was so wonderfully written and so full of childhood wonderment that it begged to be shared. Oh yeah, and there are also zombies. Enjoy!

Picture this: Beautiful sunny Easter morning. A church full of faithful Easter morning Catholics. The priest delivers a thoughtful, well spoken homily about the way Jesus died for our sins and was raised on the third day: the Miracle of Easter. Mother and child sit quietly listening to the priest and enjoying the service. The threat of no Easter candy has kept the five year old boy quiet and attentive for the entire mass.

Now picture this.......

As Jack and I are leaving mass yesterday, we get in the normal receiving line to shake the priest’s hand. As the priest bends down slightly to shake Jack’s hand, Jack goes all in for the big bear hug. "Ah, How Sweet" the priest and I both thought. Then, in true Jack fashion he backs away from the priest, looks him in the eye, and declares, "Jesus was a zombie, ya know" ("WTF!?!?" I thought to myself). The priest looked MORTIFIED. I know I was. What are all these people thinking of me? Jack must have noticed the astonishment of the priest and everyone in earshot, as well as the horrified look on the priest’s face, because he continued..."No really. He was a zombie. It’s true. You are telling everyone that Jesus rose from the dead. That dude was dead for 3 WHOLE DAYS! And he was wrapped in cloth and stuff. Only zombies can raise from the dead. And zombies are covered in cloth too. So if only zombies raise from the dead and Jesus rose from the dead, then Jesus was a zombie".

He nodded his head yes as he explained himself, as if trying to convince the priest of his theory. When he finished the priest was still looking at him with the same mouth open, eyes wide, surprised and shocked look as when Jack first stated this new religious philosophy. Jack continued to nod his head as he got in one last word, "For real. It’s true. Think about it. Jesus had to be a zombie. It’s the only explanation that makes any sense. Believe me."

And just like that he skipped away as if he had been discussing the weather. When we got to the bottom of the steps, I looked back at the priest to see that he was still standing there, nearly frozen with the shocked and confused look still on his face. Me? I was only slightly embarrassed, but mostly impressed with my son’s logic and critical thinking skills. Maybe it’s easier to let him crawl on the floor and play with toys during mass. I am a little afraid what he's going to think of the Christmas story....

Thank you so much for sharing this Sara. I will never think of the Easter sermon the same ever, EVER again!

Friday, April 2, 2010

I Made A Lamb and I Call Him "Sheepie"...

Recently I came across this website called Fuzzy Thoughts and I found the most adorable pattern for a knitted lamb.  He was too cute for words and I just had to make him.  So here he is...

The creator of this website, Barbara Prime, designs many knitted toy patterns and they are all too cute for words.  I have several patterns that I have my eye on and can't wait to try.  The best part...She allows these toys to be sold.  I may have found the beginnings of my toy sweat shop.  Even better...These toys are really small.  I made "Sheepie" in just a few days.  Perhaps I wouldn't have to knit in the shower to keep up.